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2019 Exercise Physiology graduates Sally Piazza, Robert Boyd, Lauren Swiger
May 03, 2019 : Ohio University Eastern honors 2019 graduating class

Shelby Hoagland and her 2-year-old daughter Ella are ready for graduation.  Shelby is from Cadiz and earned with a bachelor’s in human biology.ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio (May 3, 2019) – Ohio University’s Eastern Campus honored graduates, student leaders, and special guests at the Honors and Recognition Convocation Friday evening at the campus’ Health and Physical Education Center in St. Clairsville.


Eastern Campus Dean Bob Klein welcomed the graduates, veterans, alumni, faculty and staff, honorees, and special guests.  He was followed by the student speaker, Ms. Brooke Robinson, and keynote speaker, Mr. Sean Patterson.


“I love this time of year,” Klein exclaimed.  “There is nowhere else I want to be tonight than right here, celebrating with you.  So many moments of fortune and devotion have made it possible for us to be present with each other here tonight.  It is truly a special evening.”


He continued, “Graduates, this is your moment.  Enjoy it.  It is a symbolic moment, but a moment to acknowledge the total process that began with a dream about what education could bring, this led to taking a risk—taking the time to invest in yourself, this was followed by challenging yourself with rigorous coursework led by our excellent faculty who believed in you and supported you on the way there.  Congratulations to all on a job well done.”


Robinson, a member of the 2019 graduating class, earned a 3.65 GPA and graduated cum laude with a double major in communication studies and applied management.  She also earned an associate's degree in specialized studies with a concentration in health & wellness.


The 2015 St. Clairsville High School graduate began by thanking all in attendance and proceeded to reminisce about her experiences at the Eastern Campus.  “Thinking back about our time here as students, there are many emotions and words that could describe the events, challenges, and life-changing decisions we have made.  But, one thing is for certain: we all worked very hard to get to this day.”


“I’m talking about those endless hours of studying, writing, and even pulling all-nighters. I’m talking about those internships and first or second jobs we worked, along with being full-time students.  I’m talking about the choice we made: to pursue something greater than ourselves, to chase after a dream that others may have doubted us about.  It sounds cliché, but anything truly is possible if you put your mind to it.”


Robinson then shared how she transferred to Ohio University Eastern at the beginning of her sophomore year and immediately found her niche.  “I quickly discovered that the opportunities at the Eastern Campus would allow me to better conquer my goals and aspirations.  For example, I was able to start up an all-women’s fitness group whose mission is to empower women to empower themselves and other women.  Then, I became the first student senator to represent our campus and help my fellow peers share their voices.  Following that was two internships, summer classes, and second jobs that allowed me to earn three degrees.”


In closing, Robinson wished all of her classmates the best in the future and challenged them to pursue their dreams.  “In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, ‘The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.’  Congratulations, class of 2019, we did it!”


Patterson graduated from Steubenville High School in 1990.  He earned bachelor’s de­grees in sociology and criminology from Ohio University in 1996 and obtained a master's degree in justice administration from Tiffin University in 2007.


Patterson began, “As a proud graduate of Ohio University, I am humbled to be standing before you this evening.  Growing up thirty minutes away, I never thought that I would have the opportunity to come back to be a part of such an important day.”


“Looking back, I can vividly remember my experiences at the Eastern Campus, which included the drive to and from class each day, the opportunity to play basketball, my friends and teammates, and the professors that I had the chance to learn from.  Thank you Michael McTeague, Patrick Wood, and Coach Jay Morris for making me believe that I belonged here on this college campus.  You gave me the confidence and helped me to find my voice as a student and as an individual.”


Then Patterson spoke directly to the graduating class.  “Life is an autobiography.  So, take your pen, and write your own story.  Chart your own course and don’t stop until you reach your destination.  Be careful not let to let anyone, or anything, lead you off course.  Others can and should be able to offer guidance and assistance, but always remember that you are the one in control of your own life.”


“Second, always remember the ‘Three C’s of Life:’ Choices, chances, and changes.  You must make a choice, to take a chance, to change your life.  About nine years ago, I made a choice to help with a donation drive for the homeless.  The next thing I knew, I was a team captain and our group collected 25 survival kits and sleeping bags for the cause.” 


“This success gave me the confidence to take a chance and start a non-profit.  I created The 411 Foundation in memory of my father, who was only 4’11.”  Today, The 411 Foundation is active in the community and across the country providing survival kits and blessing bags to the homeless.  We also provide Christmas presents to families in need, Thanksgiving baskets, clothes to adults and children, life skills classes, school supplies, and we serve lunch at the Ronald McDonald House every other month.  We are making a change in our community.”


“In 2013, I made the choice to sign up as a possible bone marrow donor for an office co-worker in need.  Unfortunately, I was not a match, but I did get a call the following year as I was a match for a nine-year-old little girl.  In that moment, I made another choice and took the chance to undergo surgery to donate bone marrow and make a change in the life of that little girl.  With every opportunity, I make choices, to take chances, to make changes, and I believe I have written a decent story for myself.  I will never stop writing my story because no one can write it better than me.”


“So, as you start this next chapter of your life, make a choice to go out there and find your passion.  Take the chance to do what you love and it will change your life in the most profound ways.  It will also make your story very interesting.  Your story is just beginning, so take hold of the pen and write each word with passion.”


E. J. Schodzinski, director of external relations, then announced the 2019 recipient of the Austin C. Furbee award, in recognition of outstanding contributions to Ohio University and the community.


“It is my honor to recognize Dan Milleson as the Austin C. Furbee award recipient,” said Schodzinski.  “Dan has been a key contributor to the success of our recent development initiatives.  He has been a champion on our community foundation board for the last several years and played a significant role in the success of our 60th Anniversary Campaign and Gala.  His commitment to Ohio University and the community has been exemplified by his dedication to Harrison County Schools, involvement in the local business community, and the establishment of the R. Kinsey Milleson Public Service Scholarship at the Eastern Campus.  Needless to say, Dan’s selection for the Austin C. Furbee Award is a well-deserved recognition of his many contributions to Ohio University, the community, and the region.”


Klein concluded the ceremony by congratulating this year’s candidates on earning their Ohio University degrees.  “People often take this moment to tell you that this isn’t the end of something, but the beginning.  I have news for you… this moment is part of a long process of becoming.  I encourage you to live every day as a day of becoming and every moment as a chance to impact your world for the better.  That is our hope for you, as your faculty and your alma mater: that we have helped you to fashion the means for making the world a better place, that in you, we are realizing the truly transformative power of education.  So, congratulations class of 2019.  We are proud to share this moment with you and look forward to sharing many more in the years ahead.”


2019 Academic Awards 

  • Outstanding Bachelor of Applied Management Student – Beth Doyle
  • Outstanding Early Childhood Education Student – Alyssa Strope
  • Outstanding Middle Childhood Education Student – Mickenzie Hughes
  • Outstanding Exercise Physiology Student – Robert Boyd
  • Outstanding Social Work Student – Pamela McBride
  • Outstanding Communication Studies Student – Donielle Flynn


2019 graduate Rhett Schodzinski and Campus Dean Bob Klein

2019 Graduation List

  • Associate in Applied Science:  Ina Masteller, Wheeling
  • Associate in Arts:  Samantha Clyde, Tiltonsville; Kristina Fox, Martins Ferry; Sophia Isiminger, Dillonvale; Jacob Leach, Barnesville; Bryant Lepic, St. Clairsville; Scott Jason Yonak, Belmont
  • Associate in Individual Studies:  Brooke Robinson, Morristown
  • Associate in Science:  Garrett Dierkes, Woodsfield; Haleigh Osman, Bellaire; Lauren Swiger, Tiltonsville
  • Bachelor of Arts in History:  Myla Victoria Ford, Bellaire; Zachery Jay Grimes, Flushing
  • Bachelor of Arts in Human Biology:  Shelby Lynne Hoagland, Cadiz; Rachel Jane Zeroski, Adena
  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology-Criminology:  Hannah Litman, Clarington
  • Bachelor of Science in Applied Management:  Steven Christie, Barnesville; Beth Doyle, Bridgeport; Isaac Foldi, Bloomingdale; Jason Hodgson, St. Clairsville; Ian Porter, Bergholz, OH; Austin Rine, St. Clairsville; Brooke Robinson, Morristown; Meghan Ross, St. Clairsville; Rhett Schodzinski, Wheeling; Jesse Secrest, Neffs; Brittany VanMeenan, Woodsfield
  • Bachelor of Science in Communication:  Stephon Davis, Cleveland Heights; Donielle Flynn, Beallsville; Bryant Lepic, St. Clairsville; Brooke Robinson, Morristown
  • Bachelor of Science in Education:  Faith Barkhurst, Adena; Samantha Clyde, Tiltonsville; Baylee Figel, Sardis; Mickenzi Hughes, St. Clairsville; Rebecca Lewton, Martins Ferry; Breanne Long, Martins Ferry; Maci McEndree, Barnesville; Brooke Meade, Woodsfield; Gregory Mehlman, Bellaire; Kara Nulph, Moundsville; Michael Pyatt, Bridgeport; Alyssa Strope, St. Clairsville
  • Bachelor of Science in Health:  Alec Byrley, Steubenville
  • Bachelor of Science in Physiology of Exercise:  Robert Boyd, Dillonvale; Shyla Dimmerling, Quaker City; Blair Hamilton, Bellaire; Sally Piazza, Rayland; Lauren Swiger, Tiltonsville
  • Bachelor of Social Work:  Cathryn Blair, St. Clairsville; Alexis Burris, Cambridge; Amanda Cika, Martins Ferry; Emily Lucas, Barnesville; Valerie Maher, Lansing; Pamela McBride, St. Clairsville; Lucia Parker, Quaker City; Justin Rich, Moundsville; Dakota Schau, Martins Ferry; Kacie Wells, Freeport
  • Bachelor of Specialized Studies:  Kayla Ballint, Martins Ferry; James Colabelli, Rayland; Kristina Fox, Martins Ferry; Ina Masteller, Wheeling
  • Bachelor of Technical and Applied Studies:  Jessica Hurdzan, Bridgeport; Suzanne Stull, Scio